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就这样,一部部古汉字经典进入他的资料库,仅仅复印、整理和把这些资料输入电脑就用了8年。

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, chapter 21. What is the meaning of 仅仅? If it means just or only (only 8 years or just 8 years), wouldn't it be more syntactically correct to be before 8年?

就这样,一部部古汉字经典进入他的资料库,复印、整理和把这些资料输入电脑就用了仅仅8年。

What is the syntax rule here?

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    仅仅 means “only” but as 仅仅 goes before 复印…, it means “only those 3 steps” instead of “only 8 years”.
    – kyc
    Commented Jun 12 at 17:33
  • 虽然已经有答案了,但是我仍然想补充一下,希望能有所帮助。这个句子的意思是,复印、整理、输入资料这些事情虽然听起来很轻松,但仍然花了8年时间,可能因为资料太多了。这位古汉字工作者可能还做了很多其他工作,没有算进这八年。还可以用“光是”来表达:“光是复印、整理、输入资料就用了八年。” Commented Jun 13 at 13:16

4 Answers 4

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In "仅仅复印就用了8年" 仅仅(adv) modifies 复印(v) because 仅仅(just) is directly in front of the verb 复印(copying). The sentence is translated as " Just copying, they have already used 8 years"

In "输入电脑就用了仅仅8年" 仅仅(adj) modifies 8年(n) because 仅仅(just) is directly in front of the noun 8年(eight years).

In this case, 就(adv- already) and 仅仅(adj- just) cannot coexist because the sentence would mean "inputting into the computer already used just eight years" which doesn't make sense due to the contradiction between "already(implies a long time has been spent)" and "only (implies a short time is spent)"

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仅仅: here: just

就这样,
Thus,

一部部古汉字经典进入他的资料库,
one by one (the) old Chinese characters entered his database,

仅仅复印、整理和把这些资料输入电脑就用了8年。
just copying, sorting and putting these data in (his/the) computer took eight years.

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仅仅 can be interchangeable as 只是 in this case, means just. You can say the sentence as: 仅仅只是/仅仅/只是/单单复印、整理...

You can understand from another angle why 仅仅 should not be added in front of 八年 in this sentence: 仅仅 always modify words that the speaker believes to be small/short/light etc. However, obviously, telling from this sentence, 8 years is a long time.

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This sentence should be tranlated into: Merely copying, sorting and inputting the documents into computer already took this man 8 years. The 仅仅 is to describe copying, sorting stuff, which you know is only the beginning of the actual research. This whole sentence is to emphasize the huge amount of basic work he has done and the hardship he is facing.

And if the 仅仅 is to decribe 8 years, it should be placed right before 八年.

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